National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman said the new Islanders owners have been “looking very seriously at what their options are” but that they remain “committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders”, but not necessarily to Barclays.
One way or the other at the end of this season (or the next) the Islanders will be leaving Brooklyn and many are wondering if that means a return to their original home here in Uniondale.
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum had long needed to be renovated years before the move. But now as the construction nears completion it may be too late to bring them back thanks in part to the Nassau County Legislature and County Exec. Ed Mangano's lack of foresight which many others had had in envisioning a return of our Islanders. But maybe not.
Although the original approved plans never included expansion, only a facelift to the exterior and interiors with an actual reduction in the seating capacity, the scramble now begins to negotiate an alternative. With the support of Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino all hands are on deck to make it happen.
Will the facility be able to retrofit an additional 2,000 seats necessary to be in compliance with NHL rules? Will the coliseum still be able to open on time for their projected April 3rd kickoff? Will we be mourning the final loss of Long Island's only professional league team or celebrating it's valiant return? We certainly hope its the latter. Stay tuned, this is just the beginning.